By Ron VandenBoom
Hammers were swinging at the old H. Earl Clack Museum Building on the Hill County Fairgrounds Sunday as construction was started on a new Havre tourism information center.
Floor tiles were being ripped up from and walls taken down and erected as a small crew of Havre Area Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee members donated their time to the construction.
Construction of the information/interpretive center is the number one project for the committee this year, said committee co-chairman Gary Wilson.
Total cost of the project is expected to be about $500, he said.
A space of approximately 625 square feet on the west side of what is now the Great Northern Fairs office building has been donated to the committee by the Great Northern Fair Board. The board will retain the remainder of the building for their office space, conference room, and storage area.
New tiles for the floor and walls separating the Great Northern Fair Board conference room from the information center will be erected and, if necessary, display cases built to house what committee member Myrna Whitelaw calls teasers.
Tourists will have a rest-stop they can make where they can be directed to attractions in the area and along the Hi-Line, Whitelaw said.
Several displays that remained in the building after the museum was officially moved to the Heritage Center will be retained in the center and new displays will be added probably from items currently stored in the basement of the Heritage Center, Wilson said.
Display cases, still stored at the old museum will be relocated into the new section and additional display cases built if the need arises, Whitelaw said.
Well put in things about Havre Beneath the Streets, Fort Assinniboine, Wahkpa Chugn, and well have posters and things like that so this is our advertising section,Wilson said.
From the entrance Wilson said visitors will be able to see the display area in the northwest section of the building that will entice them to take a closer look at what the area has to offer.
It works out really nice, he said.
Wilson praised Fair Manager Mike Spencer and the Great Northern Fair Board for allowing them the opportunity to create the information center, saying it will be a real complement to the campground and the new rest area located just west of the building.
Whitelaw said she hopes the project will be completed by the middle of July, but added that more help on the project is needed.
Volunteers are encouraged to call Whitelaw at 265-7258 or Wilson at 265-8336.